Meet Ima Do-gooder and Mia Mystic, Affable Spokespersons for Deception
Allow me, if you will, to introduce Ima Do-gooder and his partner, Mia Mystic. Both college educated, Ima and Mia are model citizens, ever ready to take in stray animals and take on local litterbugs. The kindly couple lives modestly in a demonstrably “green” apartment within an urban-cluster development boasting easy access to public transportation.
No car clutters their garage – only bicycles handily tucked behind recycle containers appropriately labeled “trash,” “glass,” “plastic,” “paper,” “food and foliage scraps.” Whenever necessary, Ima and Mia beckon temporary transport, consistently of the hybrid variety, by means of a Smartphone application. Creation care matters, after all.
Given Mia’s conscientious attention to reproductive health care, there is no baby in the oven, nor will there be. The planet can do without additional eaters. Nonetheless, when less evolved folks choose to breed, Mia gives the nod to universal, government managed health- and child- care services.
While she opposes capital punishment for the guilty, Mia applies no litmus test to aborting the innocent. A pregnant woman’s choice rightfully trumps a nonperson’s right to life. Moreover, a customer’s demand for abortifacient drugs, as Plan B or Ella, precludes a private pharmacy owner’s right to conscience.
To Ima and Mia, marriage, mortgage, and munchkins are superfluous to a personally fulfilled life. Together, the two spend free time at the local Pea Patch, which provides them fresh, pesticide-free produce that, to their credit, they willingly share with food banks. By example, they coax others into their lifestyle of mandatory volunteerism.
To remain fit and centered, Ima and Mia endorse holistic philosophies, energy medicine, meditative/ divine breathing practices, and yoga. They self-identify as spiritual, not religious; and theirs is a conciliatory gospel of unrequited love. Hate is what non-enlightened folks, unlike themselves, direct toward gays, Muslims, abortionists, progressives, and the like.
In their world, dogs are people, too.
Doctrine of Tolerance
Ima and Mia view rendering offense as the chief vice; hence, “tolerance” encapsulates their core creed. Propelled by a social Gospel, Ima and Mia sympathize with media bias that demonizes fervent Christianity as even more perilous and hatemongering than Islamic fundamentalism. Indeed, intolerant Christian extremists cling to a defunct worldview of biblical fundamentalism by insisting on fixed values of right and wrong, obsolete traditionalism, fiscal and social conservatism.
Doctrine of Cosmic Citizenship
Geo-politically, Ima and Mia identify, not as Americans, but rather as citizens of the planet. Doing so, they evade principles of rugged individualism, self-government, free speech and enterprise, middle class affluence (private property ownership), and public religious expression. National sovereignty, they insist, is passé. In fact, both of them are shamed by their birth nation’s perceived arrogance, imperialism, colonialism, greedy capitalism, exploitation of third world countries, and racism, historically epitomized in slave ownership. Closing our nation’s borders – thus, denying undocumented people the welfare, access to universal health care, bilingual education, and leg-up affirmative action to which they are rightfully entitled – would signal selfishness.
Instead, social and ecological justice creates a new, superior story of our origins and culture. With that in view, Ima and Mia champion racial justice, interfaith relations with Muslims (reciprocity optional), justice for God’s creation (warranting human apology – even worship), and international law (trumping the US Constitution). Because strict interpretation of our nation’s outmoded Constitution is folly, its first, second, and tenth amendments (others as well) must be revisited with an eye toward the common good.
Camouflaged Conflicting Convictions
Fact is, their convictions in favor of gay marriage and reproductive health (code word for abortion on demand) are sincerely heartfelt. Sadly, the inconsistency (some would call hypocrisy) of their own dogma escapes them.
For example, Ima and Mia champion legal marriage despite gender orientation or preference. In their world, despite issues of conscience, neither a local florist, nor baker may deny a gay couple the designer wedding cake or flower arrangements of their dreams, yet Ima and Mia readily defer to vociferous demands of a-religionists offended by display of a manger scene. To them, conscience matters little – but being offended by matters of conscience speaks volumes.
Another case in point: In the public school classroom, allowing a crucifix necklace threatens constitutional freedom. If, however, that very image is illustrated as being submerged in urine, it somehow qualifies as transcendent “art,” suitable for school groups to study on field trips to art museums. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Nonetheless, while some are entitled to escape offense, others are expected to toughen up and take it on the chin.
Doctrine of Enlightenment
Of the varied paths to godhood, the Jesus gig suits Ima and Mia just fine. Theirs is a message of inclusion, looking for the good while ignoring the bad. Generally on Sundays, they are in church. Upon selecting a place of worship, the two intentionally bypassed fundamental Bible churches attended by whom they view as the monolithic religious right.
Satisfying relationships and engaging activities keep Ima and Mia coming back to their fellowship and accountability groups keep them in line. Home gatherings serve to expand evangelical core values of personal salvation, evangelism, Bible reading, prayer, and mutual accountability to include globalization, politics of war/peace, the environment, and social welfare.
Since the construct of hell cannot possibly have originated from a loving God, these left-leaning moralists exalt universal salvation over personal redemption. In their view, morality spans a sliding continuum rightfully exempt from narrow-minded judgment; and social justice routs spiritual purity.
While Ima and Mia may claim to be compelled by biblical theology, they espouse a non-literal view of the Bible that relies heavily on German higher criticism. The two vehemently oppose what they condemn as the “idolatry of Scriptures.” Truth is resident within them – not on the antiquated pages of some error-riddled book.
Doctrine of Utopianism
A shining star of the religious left, Dr. Tony Campolo believes the future is ours to create. Accordingly, both Ima and Mia lobby for non-proliferation, world peace, and conflict resolution. Nuclear freezes are mandatory; and Israel must be shunned for unlawful occupation and heartless displacement of Palestinian brethren.
Both favor systematic emasculation of armed services. They believe America’s military strength to be excessive and its many evils unconscionable. Looking to ideals promulgated by the United Nations, Ima and Mia concede that the push for global harmony and understanding, in time, will render war obsolete and anti-ballistic missile defense unnecessary.
Doctrine of Cosmic Humanism
Their so-called “positive Christianity” diverts their church community from God and salvation toward resolving the “human condition” through human intervention and institutions. In meeting the call to renewal, their emerging church (of man’s own making) freely expands core biblical values to accommodate “red-letter,” freestyle Christian thought. To believers like Ima and Mia, human dignity and worth are based on self-determination through reason, not so much Bible truth.
Rather than be renewed by the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God, Ima and Mia instead conform to a decidedly humanistic worldview. They reason that the AIDS virus was spread by lack of federal funding, and SUVs pave the way for climatic apocalypse. Hence, they advocate creating a better world through social controls featuring evolving doctrine, attitudes, and ways of living centered more on relativistic human values than on biblical mandate.
Doctrine of Redistribution
Self-proclaimed citizens of “one world,” Ima and Mia assign ownership of money and property to the collective. Any discussion of free enterprise and limited government disquiets them. In a 1979 interview, Pastor Jim Wallis told a reporter he hoped more Christians would come “to view the world through Marxist eyes.” Ima and Mia could not agree more. True equality demands equal sharing of all sources. Right?
Doctrine of Consensus
A distributed church uses contrasts to accomplish kingdom purposes; however, consensus with opposites requires nothing short of compromise. Through their home study groups, Ima and Mia achieve collaborative consciousness by participating in guided dialogue. Blatantly absent from their agenda is deep study of the meat of the Word, the Bible.
To Ima and Mia, all Christians are mystics, defined as “those who experience God in trans-rational and non-empirical ways.” Mystical experiences encompass heightened awareness accompanied by new insights, breakthrough conversion experiences, and I = Thou relationships (neo-pantheism).
Their intuitive application of spirituality invites a wide variety of trendy, albeit extra-biblical perspectives (rebirthing, Christ-consciousness, harmonic convergence) and practices (contemplative prayer, silence, meditation, and creative expression). Applying a systems approach to personal spiritual development, Ima and Mia align with the burgeoning “spiritual formation” movement in which the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit take back seat to new techniques, some drawn from ancient disciplines.
By devaluating New Testament spirituality, Ima and Mia court the postmodern fallacy that ours is an age of new images – notably, images that portray biblical Christianity as outmoded and downright defunct. In its place, they champion a new story of our origins and culture – this, minus a grand meta-narrative (big story) featuring the God of the Bible.
Ima Do-gooder and Mia Mystic worry more about offending man than God, but they faithfully walk the talk. Folks like and appreciate them as neighbors.
Problem is, Ima and Mia are spokespersons for deception; theirs is a way that seems right to man, but its end (according to Scripture) is death.